Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Every Guy Needs Stuff

Coronado1Back in March Paul and I found this gem on Craigslist and made a beeline to it.

On the way home we named the machine Kermit.  A nod to it’s green color and Paul’s insistance that every machine does not have to be a female.

Kermit sat in the studio for months.  Life just got in the way of doing anything with him.

Then one day we ran him thru his paces.  Oh my he sews like a dream.  

But back in the cabinet he went for another day.

Weeks passed.

Then I got a little tired of pushing the cabinet out of the way and since it was in such poor shape.  Well out Kermit came.

Then he sat on the studio counter. 

He needed detailing and a base box.

I purchase a box from Stitches In Time a vendor on ebay.  They deal in tons of vintage sewing machine parts, manuals, accessories.

Definitely a bookmark into your ebay vendor list.

Stitches in Time



The base box arrived last week.


Made of cherry wood, it is truly meant for a hand crank machine but it does the job for Kermit and the side tray can be used to hold “stuff”.  And everything has it’s own stuff.




Paul spent a few hours carefully detailing. 



And just look at Kermit now.

He is so handsome. 







He now lives on the bookcase in the guest room.  His green color just adds spark to the dusty purple/grey d├ęcor.





(note Paul was sick with the flu when he took this pic for me on Tues…thus he placed Kermit in backwards.  I forgive him as he did such a great job cleaning him up on Sunday)









Just look at his shine!


Hope Emily enjoys sharing his space when she visits this weekend. 

Can’t wait to hug my baby girl.


Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Great Stash Bust!

I spent the last two days in the studio cleaning up. 

This meant I put away all the fabric I used in the next book.  I had been stacking all the used fabric pieces in a special bin…well bins by the time I was done.  So that I could guarantee that a fabric would only be used once during the making of all 84 commercial fabric samples for the next Pieced Hexies Book.  Each sample uses a minimum of 4 fabrics, with some designs up to 6 fabrics….so you can see a whole lot of fabrics were used.

So the goal was to straighten up everything.  Shoehorn all the fabric back into the appropriate bins.  And take a deep breath.  And sew.

While shoehorning I ran across some old friends which have lived in the fabric neighborhood for years.

It is time to move them out of the stash and into a quilt.

First group to be removed.  The hand marbled fabrics.

This collection has not been touched in 10 years minimum.  Time to take action.






I started by cutting the pieces into 2.5” strips. 











Then I remembered the huge pile of black kona “odds–n-ends” left over from all the backings of the samples.


Guess what!?!  These fabrics are going to land up as some crazy 9 patches….maybe to go on to live as Sisters Choice blocks…or something else.

But it’s happening!  That marbled stash is needs to live in a quilt for all to see! 

I challenge you to take a good look at your stash and find the hidden treasure that you have held on to for ages and cut if up and start to “move it out”!.

There is more.


This is the Civil War and 30’s stash.  They are up next for “moving out”. 



And then it’s on to this stash. 


This is gonna take awhile.


Thursday, August 22, 2013

One Raccoon, Two Raccoons, EIGHT!

One of the days spent at Quilt Villa in the mountains of NC with Bonnie Hunter we went out exploring.

The plan was to ride the Blue Ridge Parkway but mother nature had plans for pouring rain that late morning so we drove for a bit to the town of Boone.

What do two vintage loving quilters do when their scenic drive plans are rained out? 

They go antiquing.

And since we were freestyin’ this adventure we took what ever came our way via the road.

We landed up stopping at four Antique shops/malls that day and had a blast. 

But the first stop proved to the be the winner in oddities.



As soon as we walked it we knew we were in a “Man’s” antique shop.  Not just because we were the only females inside the walls but because there wasn’t a doily, apron, nor a quilt to be found.  Heck there where hardly any kitchen items at all. 






But there was taxidermy. 

Now let me preface this by saying I am married to a hunter (no not a relative of Bonnie’s).   Heck at my in-laws 9 extra sets of eyes watch tv with you in the rec room.  






It is an art.  But truly why would I want a family of four raccoons keeping an eye on me?






And then we turned into this booth. 

Now this taxidermist and I connect.

I could live with this as it makes me giggle.





But this piece turned those giggles into laughs.

Bonnie was playing look out while I snapped away.

I had to shoot (LOL…ok now laughing as I type) this one twice as the first pic was so blurry from laughing.


TaxiNC6But this truly was the ONE.  This is the piece I want in my cabin someday.  We pretty much hightailed it out of there after this pic….laughing all the way to the van.

Life is better with laughter,


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Tale of Two Cutting Tables

There is nothing better then be holed up in a cabin in the woods with a quilting friend, fabric, sewing machine, munchies and electricity.

So much fun was had during the 4 days Bonnie Hunter and I spent sewing.  

But around day 3 we realized we were bumping elbows at the shared cutting table and action was needed.

Bonnie whipped out another table from storage.  (truly it was like something out of James Bond with how this table materialized from the storage area with it’s own mat, rotary cutter, extra light, etc.)   That girl is good.

As soon as she got it all set up and was cutting away in BonnieLand….well I couldn’t help myself.

I needed to “reclaim” the space I had.

And in MickeyLand that means there is some …ummm….straightening up to do. 

I did this quietly.  Hoping Bonnie wouldn’t notice.

But she did.  And cracked up.

So while we are the best of friends, finishing each other sentences, laughing and crying together….well we are two different quilters when it comes to our cutting tables.

I bet that extra table comes out on day one of our next “quiltfest at QuiltVilla”. 


Wait to you see what I have to share tomorrow.


Brews4Drew Quilt is Done!

Thanks to everyone who sent in a block or two (or four!) for the Brews4Drew Quilt that will be auctioned off on September 8th at the Brews4Drew Fundraiser.

I am happy to say that Drew had his stem cell transplant yesterday and now he is on the flip side of this horrible nightmare called cancer.

He will be pretty much in isolation for the next few months so unfortunately he won’t be making an appearance at the fundraising event but if the reason is he is recovering and building strength we are good with that.

The quilt is awesome.  It measures 84x 84.  Much love and thanks to Cathy Boo for not only helping me put it all together but for also helping me binding it on Monday.



And to Debbie Van Kuiken/Warm & Tender Quilting of Oak Forest, Il for the spectacular freehand custom quilting job!  You rocked it Debbie and I will forever be grateful for your helping me out when time became an issue.

Here’s hoping that the Bears Fans at the fundraiser will go crazy for it!


I can’t believe I have been home already for a week from my adventure in North Carolina.  Still so many pics and stories to share.

I did return home to this this little beauty in the mail.  I was bidding on it on ebay while away, and when cellphone/internet coverage was not available the auction ended and I had lost.  But then two days later I got a second chance as the original buyer flaked out and the seller offered it to me at my highest bid….uummm YES!

And it beat me home. 

Isn’t she a beaut.

BLOCK: Improved Nine Patch

and it has been modernized into an english paper piecing pattern.

(Look here and see -scroll to the bottom of the page)

And that 30s bubble gum pink.







The original maker didn’t finish one edge with pink melons so that actually makes my decision easier.

I will trim the entire quilt down to straight edges and add an inner and outer border.


I am thinking a turquoisey blue solid for the 1” inner border.   And another shade of pink or robin’s egg blue for the outer border.  In fact I think there might be a trip to buy the kona solid today.  hmmmmm…..

Enjoy the day,


Monday, August 19, 2013

Toadally Awesome Winnie Star

My good friend Brenda Esslinger sent me a picture of her version of the Pieced Hexie Star WINNIE to share!


Brenda is a very talented long arm quilter, quiltmaker,  author and teacher.

Her studio name is Toadally Awesome Quilting and she lives in Oklahoma City, OK.  

She also has a new book out called Fabulous Fractures.  Her publisher is Ashton Publications and you can find information about her book here.

You can find more of her work here in her Etsy shop.

And as always you can find the FREE PDFs for Pieced Hexie Star Patterns on the right hand side of this page.

Today is binding day here.  I hope to have the Brews4Drew quilt done and able to share it tomorrow or Wednesday.

Take Care,


Friday, August 16, 2013

The best breakfast ever!

I am back from my visit to Quilt Villa (Bonnie Hunter’s Mountain Cabin) and I cannot explain how much I miss it already.

Plans are in the works for a future visit.  

It was perfect.   We just sat and sewed, talked, laughed and sang!  Ideas percolated, quilts were finished, quilts were born. 

On the way to Quilt Villa we stopped and did all out grocery shopping for our 4 days of quilty bliss.  We shopped “gluten free” as Bonnie has been doing so for months now.  I had decided several weeks ago that this was going to be my jumping off to “gluten free” too.

After almost 20 months since my surgery and exercising my brains out maybe this would prove to be the vehicle to jump start my metabolism.  And besides with everything I have heard and read it is a healthy move to make.

We got to the cabin and I realized I forgot to toss an avocado into the shopping cart.  I wanted to make Bonnie what I consider to be the best breakfast ever.  And it’s Gluten Free!

Avocado Egg Boat.

A few months ago I saw the recipe on Facebook and Paul and I were just about to start making lunch and we had the fixin’s in the house so we made them. 

OMGosh!  It is the best breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack ever!

Pretty much a staple recipe now at Chez Depre.


Two eggs, an avocado, some cheese and some spices.  Can’t get much simpler than that.








Slice the avocado in half, remove the seed. 

Balance the slices on ramekins in a baking tray.





Crack and pour an egg into the pit of each avocado.  Now depending on the seed size you might want to make this hole a bit larger by removing some of the avocado meat. 

Snack while cooking I say.




Add seasoning.

For us it a combo of Cajun Seasoning and Paprika.

Top with cheese or cheeses.

Pop into oven at 425.

You can actually click on the recipe name above for a print out of original recipe.


Texting Paul now as he is stopping at the grocers on the way home today for steaks for dinner.  I am going to have him pick up some avocados.  Pauli is coming down tomorrow to visit and stay the night.  I’m gonna make these for breakfast on Sunday.

And I promise Bonnie I will make these at Quilt Villa next time.  I won’t forget the avocado!

Enjoy the day,


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Cowboys & Indians and a mystery

Just before I left for North Carolina my mailman delivered two new additions for the Depre Quilt Museum. 

I had to have this hexie quilt.  Masculine hexie quilts are hard to come by and this one just screams “little boy”

Look at the darling 50s cowboy print throughout.  It is just the right size for a 4 year old’s nap and the fort in the living room.

I am loving the setting.  But I would never tackle a binding of a hexie quilt by going around each and every hexie.  For me it’s either applique to a straight border or cut it straight.  This lady is am better quilter than I.  


Mr. Mailman also brought this treasure.  Just a top.  It was a steal at less than $25.  A very plain quilt top but with lots of clues to investigate.







What do you think these initials are"?


But the 1937 is clear as day and that makes me smile.

I might make some Pieced Hexies in my 30’s repros and applique them to the open white blocks and of course it will be quilted.   I am a big believer that quilting the top will provide it a longer life.  I will document that I added my hexie rosettes on the labeling so 100 years from now someone will realize this quilt spanned 76 years.

I wonder if Dorothy, Clark, Donald and Ralph would think that was a grand idea?

Today I travel home from spending time in North Carolina, first teaching at the retreat and then three days of sewing with Bonnie.   Ideas have been hatched, things are happening, projects have been worked on.   But the best part is the laughter.  We have laughed and laughed and laughed.

It has been a very good week.

Enjoy your day,


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

One Bike…Two Birds….but not two dogs

Earlier this month (wow does time fly) Paul and I headed out to the Kane County Flea Market. 

It is one of our favorites.  Always brimming with vendors. 

Lots of “junk” to peruse.



And of course one of our favorite local artist usually has a stall.  She is Terri Miles and she makes sculptures from old metal items.  Several of her work already lives at Chez Depre.  





But when Paul saw her “Bike and Birds” piece well it was sold before the price was even discussed.



So now we can tell people you can find our house by the red bike in the front with two birds.  

They have yet to be named.   But I am considering “Faith & Molly”.  

In honor of the friendship between two dogs that just did not happen.




Yes, we almost adopted a second senior doxie.  Molly seemed very open to the idea at first, but then when Faith spent too much time getting to know me and it was all over.  Molly would not share her “mom”.



Midwest Dachshund Rescue offered to work with us for several months to try to socialize Molly and quell her anxieties but that would mean Faith would not have a furever home for a few months and at age 9 we didn’t feel that was fair to her.  Especially with two other families also expressing interest in her. 

So Molly will remain an only dog. 

And that’s ok.  Smile

Enjoy the day,